To what extent would this shift color his relationship with his impressionable younger brother, Danny? The two of them, naturally, had been a part of the same dinner-table discussions that passed on many father-to-son viewpoints, some of which smacked of sugarcoated racism. With normative influence in action, the Vinyard boys were quick to adopt their father’s view, whose “good boy” words of affirmation were reward enough. Later, the actions of his white-supremacist older sibling proved to affect teenaged Danny considerably, who clutched to his brother’s ideals when he couldn’t physically reach him through prison walls. In a statement of pride, Danny claimed, “people look at me and see my brother.” In the same manner, however, after seeing the profound change that prison stamped upon Derrick, Danny was also forced to reconcile with his faulty formation of social thinking and reconstruct his self-concept accordingly.
”It's wrong and it was eating me up, it was going to kill me. And I kept asking myself all the time, how did I buy into this shit? It was because I was pissed off, and nothing I ever did ever took that feeling away. I killed two guys, Danny, I killed them. And it didn't make me feel any different. It just got me more lost and I'm tired of being pissed off, Danny. I'm just tired of it.”
Danny exhales, seemingly exhausted after hearing of the brutal ordeals that his brother was forced to endure while imprisoned for a malicious action that Danny deified. Despite the tension that divided the Vinyard brothers in the previous scene of the film, the chasm between them has been forged by the harsh, yet vulnerable honesty with which Derrick shared his conversion story with his brother. Seeing the foundation that he has based his hate-filled existence upon so shaken and literally remolded, Danny abandons his racially terrorist views. In the most powerful moment of the film, Derrick and Danny are confronted by the walls of their room. Walls which served to erode the innocent tolerance of their childhood, plastered with Nazi regalia, swastikas, propaganda, and white-power rhetoric. Although these walls once served as the stronghold of their movement and the birthplace of their racism, the pistons that jumpstarted their engines of aggression and rage each morning and night stand silent, motionless, now powerless. As though they are clothes that used to define our style, yet no longer feel right when we see them in front of the mirror. Silently approaching the posters and flags, with great solemnity the brothers remove each billboard of hate, picking off each scab of a lecherous disease that has held them hostage for so long. After all has been torn down, the now bare 1970’s wood paneling wall of their room seems to scream in its nakedness, ‘who am I?’ Surely reechoing within the walls of each Vinyard’s soul is the same question as they are forced to rebuild the walls of their self-concepts without the nails and screws of racism. Having completed this arduous and monumental task of redefinition, Derrick yearns to further scrub away the layers of filth that have slowly suffocated him for years, “I’m gonna take a shower, alright?” Despite all his scrubbing, the bold swastika tattoo emblazoned on his chest remains, an indelible mark of his past staining the pores of his identity. Gazing in the mirror, he covers the stain with his hand, and looks on, a new man.
Sociological Analysis of Racism American History X
2317 WordsOct 23rd, 201310 Pages
Sociological Analysis of American History X:
A Breakdown of the Stages of Racism
Racism being a common concern for most sociologists is somewhat inevitable and a cause for a large proportion of the problems that occur in the society. American History X (1998) is a film that tells a rather heartrending tale of two brothers that got caught in a ghastly web of bitterness and hatred. Although racism is openly practiced, it isn’t entirely irreversible. The process of escaping from it, however, can be gradual and excruciating. In order to understand how to avoid racism, one needs to understand its foundation. American History X enables us to see all the factors that play into the protagonists’ (Derek and Danny Vineyard’s) lives. The movie…show more content…
Moreover, the minorities do not realize that they are being dominated, until they come face to face with their loss. For example, the Asian immigrant who owned the retail store or the black men that got killed by Derek. The question is: are these social strati the only fuel enraging these white Protestants, or are there deeper roots to them?
Most killers tend to have scars from the past. Not necessarily physical scars but emotional. One of the reasons Derek felt so much hate toward the black was because one of them had actually killed his father. Hearing this we tend to sympathise with the man. But later on, the movie reveals the atrocious ideologies that the father actually fed to his children by badmouthing black people in front of his family at the dinner table. In a flashback scene, Derek is praising one of his teachers at school who happens to be black and has achieved 2 PhD’s. The father tells Derek not to believe any of the “bullshit” his teacher teaches him and mentions the “affirmative blaction” that was executed at his workplace. Two black men that got hired over white men actually scored worse on the test than they did. The black had the advantage of being a minority and the government policy required to overcome ethnic inequality by hiring them in the labour force. The father finds the affirmative action to be unjust to the hardworking white men, although his opinion could be argued as biased. He feels threatened and